The City of Armagh
Armagh Observatory & Planetarium is situated in Armagh, Northern Ireland. Armagh is a small but historically significant city located about an hour by car south of Belfast International Airport and one and a half hours North of Dublin Airport.
As the Seat of the Archbishops of Armagh, the Primates of All Ireland for both the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of Ireland, Armagh is the ecclesiastical capital of Ireland and home to two cathedrals. In ancient times, Navan Fort, on the outskirts of the city was a pagan ceremonial site and one of the great royal capitals of Gaelic Ireland.
Armagh owes much of its rich history since the 18th century to the leadership, vision and generosity of the Church of Ireland Archbishop Richard Robinson. As an educated and enlightened man Archbishop Richard Robinson resolved to use his wealth and power to found and maintain charitable and educational institutions, particularly in his Primatial City of Armagh. He employed some of the foremost architects of his day: Thomas Cooley, and Francis Johnston, to design buildings and plan his cathedral city. His legacy included the new Archbishop’s Palace (now the Council offices) which were begun in 1768; the Public Library, founded in 1771; the Classical School in about 1773 along with a new barracks in the same year; and a County Gaol in 1780. He commenced the building of Armagh Observatory in 1789 and the first observations were made here in 1793.
Today, life in Armagh is similar to many small cities throughout Great Britain and Ireland and anyone considering settling here will have the same questions and concerns that they would in considering settling in any country or region away from home. These pages aim to help you gain an understanding of life in Armagh and what our small but friendly and welcoming city has to offer.